Monday, July 12, 2010

Why blog?

During my semi regular brunch date with some of my favorite women to debate with, I ranted about how wishy washy our particular community had become, most notedly the women. Posting even so much as the hint of an opinion on the online mother's "support" group or on Facebook (or "brag book" as my husband likes to call it) could get you sneers by moms at play dates, and black balled on the PTA. Forget speaking your mind on such hot topics as breast feeding, discipline, education, politics, taxes, or going to work vs. being a stay at home mom: one is basically expected to smile, and nod, later retreating to bitch about the aforementioned self censorship when arriving at the nearest safe place, be it a friend's home, or your own home, where your poor unsuspecting (and in my case, even tempered and mild mannered) husband is just dying to hear all about how snotty bitch #1,302 has pushed your buttons today.

Now, my husband loves me, and if I'm safe to bitch in front of anyone, it's him. But that doesn't mean that he'll give me what I want in response: a good, healthy, debate. Yep, that's right: I am confrontational. I am argumentative. I'd like to be able to pass myself off as assertive, but in the name of honestly, I'll cop to being just plain out aggressive. I love a good verbal sparring. I certainly am not above resorting to gossip, but I certainly prefer the opportunity to passionately spew out various insights, defend my side and tear apart yours (even if my own argument is soft and meritless, I'll at least give it a whirl). But then, after I've stated my piece and pretended to hear yours (all the while biting my tongue until I taste blood to stop myself from interrupting you as soon as your mouth even looks like it is going to open), I don't have to hate you, or even think differently about you, and this is the key: After all is said and rebuttals have been heard, I love to laugh about how great it is that two very opposite people can be friends (or at least pretend to be), pour a nice cup of coffee (or a strong cocktail), and then settle in to some calmer conversation about our kids, book club, or Lowe's Food to Go order. It works for me. It balances me.

Unfortunately, the (very disappointing) thing that I'm finding is that it's practically impossible to do this anymore, unless you want your calendar to clear out. People are too sensitive: they can't take that others may have a differing viewpoint than they do. Outlying women, in the nature of the ultimately important goal of "keeping the peace", will tell you to "play nice", rather than supporting the notion that expressing one's opinion freely is not only healthy, but stimulating. I'm the first to admit that I've learned a great deal from debating with people who stand on the other side of the fence than me on various issues. One of my closest friends and I became allies after first being near enemies over a certain political challenge. How did we come to be friends? We realized that strong, independently thinking women were few and far between, and that while we are both great alone, we are 10x better when combining forces. And once we realized this fact of combined greatness, we realized how alike we are in so many other ways. See how nice that is? It's not all hateful.

So, having come to realize that free speaking is going to get a cross burned on my lawn, or paintballs fired at my truck, I have decided that there must be no great outlet in which to be judgmental than in the blog form. So, reader be warned: If you are looking for a sugar coated opinion, look elsewhere. If you want to read opinions and rants in the pathetically washed out "politically correct'" form, close this tab now. But if you want it served straight up, and can give it back as such, well, by all means, come on down. One need not be "nice" to be honest.

And if you can't say something nice, well then, "come sit by me"...

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